How to make a successful oral presentation.


Start with Planning:

It is possible that you are just handed a topic and asked to talk about it. Or sometimes, a list is given, and you are free to choose the topic you feel most comfortable with. Whatever the case may be, you are required to cover all aspects on that particular topic in the allotted time.


Your audience should be your main focus while planning. What is their age level and gender? If they are company representatives, they will already have some knowledge about your subject beforehand. So, based on your “audience research”, ask yourself, “How are they going to benefit from what I am going to tell them? How can I ensure that they stay focused and listen carefully to what I say?”


If you have listened to religious leaders and politicians, you will know what I mean? They give the audience exactly what they want. At the same time, decide on your language and degree of formality. Too much of rigidity will not go down well with a young audience. A serious business presentation will require careful speech.


If possible, check out the facilities that the venue can provide. It is good to get a feel of the place where you are going to make your oral presentation—be it just a small room or a big hall. The place where you stand, the seating arrangement for the audience, adequate lighting for your visual aids if you are going to present any, temperature of the room, external distractions, any unfamiliar equipment that you may need to use—all these will definitely have an impact on your presentation.


The actual preparation:


Is your first draft ready? Well, go through it again, and again! There is always room for improvement. Check out whether everything related to the topic is present or not. There is a beginning to every presentation! This has to have an impact on your audience; if the opening is not done with a bang, you have already lost half the battle! Do inform the audience what you plan to talk about, and then go ahead with your presentation.


Get into a logical and sequential presentation of your topic. Let people be able to create visual pictures in their minds while you are speaking. The language has to be essentially simple; not babyish, but easy to follow. The facts presented have to be real and identify with their present situations. If you are able to overcome your nervousness, sprinkle in a few anecdotes as well.


Arguments and visual aids are accessories to your oral presentation. The smooth flow of ideas and their understanding can be enhanced with visual aids (of course, if they are not required, do not bring them in unnecessarily). These aids could be—an ordinary whiteboard and marker, chalk board, flip chart (лекционный плакат с рейкой), an overhead projector with slides, photographs, short films, power point presentations, video clippings, and models or products or experiments.


As a matter of fact, if utilized properly, visual aids can reinforce ideas and arguments. At the same time, do not go overboard with your visual presentations to such an extent that your existence is forgotten totally!


Once the main presentation is over, there has to be a summarization, especially of the salient points. It is like bringing together all the various parts to form a comprehensive whole! The concluding part of your presentation should also cover the solutions and options that you can offer to resolve problems.


There should be time allotted for a question-answer session towards the end. And oh yes, make your concluding sentence a memorable one!


Rehearsal :


Practice in front of a mirror in the privacy of your bedroom first, then with some close friends. You can even record your voice and play it back to see how you sound.! You can prepare a list of questions that you think people might ask, and get your answers ready without going into too much detail. Do not allow tricky questions to flummox (смущать, ставить в затруднительное положение, приводить в замешательство) you!


On stage:


“The first impression is the last impression!” The first 90 seconds are enough for the audience to make up their minds about you! So, how do you carry yourself for an oral presentation?


There should be easy and casual eye contact all the time. No fixed stares please! You are not going to be hanged for it; so do smile at times! Your body language and gestures should suggest openness. Be natural. Do not be too expansive in throwing all sorts of gestures around!


Especially if you are not “a gesture person”, you are going to look awkward! Avoid standing still or too much of moving around. As regards your speech, stick to a well-paced and even tone. Jokes are a strict no-no if it is a serious business discussion. Whatever, everything should be in the right proportion!


Good luck with your oral presentation!

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